Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that the body of Jorge Torres Palacios, a journalist based in the resort city of Acapulco, in the southern state of Guerrero, was found outside the city yesterday, four days after unidentified gunmen kidnapped him from his home.
Torres worked for the Acapulco’s public health department as press spokesman and wrote a political column called “Nothing personal” for El Dictamen de Guerrero, a weekly newspaper. His body was found near a cemetery, semi-buried and bearing the marks of torture.
“An investigation must be quickly launched by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (Fiscalía Especial para la Atención de Delitos Contra la Libertad de Expresión) into Torres’ murder and it must consider the possibility that the motive was linked to his journalistic work,” said Camille Soulier, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.
In his newspaper column, Torres often wrote about the region’s high level of violent crime. One of his recent articles referred to public anger in Chilpancingo, the Guerrero state capital, and to protests against arbitrary arrest, physical violence, extortion and abduction by the local police, federal police and even the armed forces.
“When is the impunity going to end?” Soulier added. “We call on the Mexican authorities to respect the undertakings they gave to Reporters Without Borders’ secretary-general during his visit in April, and to make the safety of journalists a priority.”
Reporters Without Borders is still waiting for the authorities to shed some light on the murder of Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz, a journalist whose body was found on 11 February, three days after his abduction from his home in the eastern state of Veracruz.
Mexico is ranked 152nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.